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Chevrolet Volt Drivers Cover Half a Billion EV Miles, Says GM

It may have been struggling of late in the electric car sales war against the Nissan LEAF, but the Chevrolet Volt has reason to celebrate something different this month: the half a billion miles Volt owners have driven on electricity alone since the car first went on sale in late 2010.

How far has your Chevrolet Volt driven on electricity alone?

How far has your Chevrolet Volt driven on electricity alone?

Announced yesterday by General Motors, the 500,000,000 all-electric mile mark was passed this month, resulting in a claimed 25 million gallons in fuel savings for the U.S. alone.

For those who are curious, half a billion miles is about 7 million more miles than the mean distance from the Sun to Jupiter, or 2093 times the distance between the earth and the Moon.

GM hasn’t said where it obtained this figure from, but if we had to guess we’d say it comes from analysing data from its OnStar telematics service. Standard on all U.S. Volts, OnStar allows Volt owners to remotely monitor their car’s state of charge, set climate control and unlock their vehicle. In addition, OnStar tracks each car’s mileage and fuel economy figures, making it easy for GM to accurately tally the total fleet mileage of all OnStar-connected Volts.

It’s worth noting however that OnStar doesn’t come as standard in all markets. In the UK for example, the Chevrolet Volt — and its European-badged cousin the Vauxhall Ampera — do not have any form of remote telematics system. We’re guessing then either GM hasn’t taken into account these vehicles in its total mileage calculation, or its half-a-billion milestone includes some very fuzzy math.

In addition to GM’s half-billion milestone, GM’s press release shares some more substantiated data from a study carried out for the past 30 months in California. Of more than 300 Volts studied, GM says most cars exceeded the EPA-approved 35 mile range of the Volt, managing 40 miles or more per charge.

With any luck, the Volt owners you know aren't using much gasoline.

With any luck, the Volt owners you know aren’t using much gasoline.

GM also says in its press release that 63 percent of all trips made by Volt drivers are in electric-only mode, meaning the total U.S. gasoline and electric odometer reading for the Volt brand is somewhere around the 970 million mile mark. Moreover, three and a half years after the Volt went on sale, the car is still proving a popular conquest vehicle for GM, with 69 percent of all new Volt customers coming to the Chevy brand for the first time.

As with previous years, GM says the majority of Volt customers trade in a Toyota Prius for their new plug-in.

Here at Transport Evolved, our fleet Chevrolet Volt has just ticked over 17,300 miles since July last year, and we’ve got a lifetime fuel economy of around 114 imperial miles per gallon (95 mpg U.S., 2.47 litres/100km.) As our ‘long distance car,’ it probably spends more time out of electric mode than we’d like, since we tend to prefer the all-electric LEAF for local trips.

Do you have a Chevrolet Volt or one of its European (or even antipodean)-badged siblings? What kind of fuel economy are you averaging? What’s your average range per charge, and do you agree that most of your trips are electric?

Leave your stats in the Comments below.


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  • vdiv

    There are two ways of determining how much the Volt is driven on grid power versus generator power. One is the number of trips when gas is used, and the other one is the number of miles when gas is used. It is easier to determine the number of miles if one has OnStar as it keeps track of that. However that number does not reveal the full story for many Volts that are driven only on grid power the vast majority of the time.nnThe Volt as my only car is grid-powered 83% of the miles, but 95% of the time. I use gas for a long trip across multiple states (multi-hundred miles) every couple of months or so.nnA nice sample of the Volts’ usage can be gleamed from My Volt there is Avatar

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